On first sip the smoke is almost too much, about half that of a Lapsang, but erasing other tones. Later sips bring all the other flavours to bear. While heady and strong when drunk black, it can stand up to a lot of milk and sugar, so doctor as you see fit.
One of the best preparations is Vietnamese style, with a tablespoon of condensed milk. There are few teas that can stand up to the fattiness and sweetness of condensed milk, but this tea makes it lovely. When prepared this way the smoke and bitterness recedes, bringing out more of the malty and stone fruit flavours. It also takes on caramel tones and an almost dark maple hint.
I have found that this tea is spectacular for blending. 1/5 of a tsp to 4/5 tsp Kenyan CTC Milima will add a complexity to the caramel and copper notes. Very soul soothing on a winter night.
Flavors: Dark Chocolate, Malt, Pine, Plums, Smoke, Wood